Tokuya’s “Natural Cycle” Goko Kabusecha

15,6054,90

Traditional Japanese Kabusecha “half-shaded” tea from Tokuya Yamazaki’s “natural cycle” tea garden in Kamo, southern Kyoto. When infused, the long, dark green needles produce a characteristcally bright green shimmering cup. In terms of taste, the tea pleases with the umami sweetness that is characteristical for Kabusecha teas, accompanied by a pleasantly unobtrusive, natural grassy note.

For more information and illustration refer to the product description below.

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Tokuya Yamazaki's Natural-Grown Goko Kabusecha - naturally cultivated Japanese "half-shaded" green tea from Tokuya Yamasaki's "Natural Cycle" tea garden in Kamo, Kyoto; 10 days shading before spring picking

Tokuya’s “Shizen Noen” (= “Natural Cycle”) Goko Kabusecha

Tokuya’s “Shizen Noen” (= “Natural Cycle”) Goko Kabusecha

This tea comes to us from Tea Crane, a trader specializing in naturally cultivated teas from Japanese small producers. The operator, Tyas Sösen, is a Belgian by birth who has lived in Japan since his later adolescence. There, as the youngest officially certified tea master of foreign origin, he learned the tea trade from scratch. His love for traditional Japanese Sencha teas of regional character ultimately culminated in the founding of The Tea Crane. The underlying philosophy is a return to the original Japanese Sencha. This means that the cultivation is free of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and comparably low in nitrogen. In addition, it means processing that is free of the industrial mass processes that are often characteristic of tea production in Japan today. This also makes this natural-grown Kabusecha from Kamo, southern Kyoto, a traditional regional “half-shaded” green tea.

The Kamo region consists mainly of a valley with a river flowing through it. This type of terrain allows for enough naturally shady locations for the leaf to grow neither too thick nor too thin. This in turn is reflected in a particularly refined taste and aroma. In addition, the dew of the river softens the tea leaf, while Kamo’s cold winters make the tea much sweeter than that from other regions.

When infused, the long, dark green needles produce a characteristcally bright green shimmering cup. In terms of taste, the tea pleases with the umami sweetness that is characteristical for Kabusecha teas, accompanied by a pleasantly unobtrusive, natural grassy note.

What is “Kabusecha”?

For Kabusecha, the cultivation of tea bushes takes place under so-called Kabuse nets during the last few weeks before the picking. Due to the coarse-meshed texture of these nets, one also refers to Kabuse Cha (jap. “kabuse” = Netz) as half-shaded tea.

The idea behind the Kabusecha method is that of recreating natural conditions. This means exposing the tea bushes to a part-shading as would be provided by trees and larger bushes in natural environments. The withdrawal of light during this period triggers activities in the tea plant that are leading to an altered composition of ingredients. Among these are increased amounts of amino acids (e.g. Theanine) and alkaloids (e.g. Caffeine, Theophyllin). Another effect is a reduction of bitterns (e.g. catechines), altogether resulting in a higher sweetness of the tea. Also the aromatic fragrance and the deep green color of the tea intensify through the shading.

Tokuya Yamazaki's Natural-Grown Goko Kabusecha - naturally cultivated Japanese "half-shaded" green tea from Tokuya Yamasaki's "Natural Cycle" tea garden in Kamo, Kyoto; 10 days shading before spring picking

The Tea Garden – “Sugitani Goko”

“Sugitani Goko” tea garden is part of Tokuya Yamazaki’s “Shizen Noen” (= “Natural Cycle”) tea farm. This is located in Kamo, a small town on the southern flank of the hills of southern Kyoto, through which the Kizu River flows. According to the philosophy of its operator, cultivation here follows the basic principles of natural cultivation. The steep incline of the tea slope makes picking particularly labour-intensive. On the other hand, this has the advantage of optimal water drainage while avoiding backwater. Since no fertilizer was used during the growth of the bush, the soil finds direct reflection in the taste of the tea. As a result, the authentic aroma largely accounts for the special attractiveness of the Kabusecha tea from this tea garden .

"Sugitani Goko" tea garden, part of Tokuya Yamazaki's "Shizen Noen" (= "Natural Cycle") Estate in Kamo, southern Kyoto

Sugitani Goko Teegarten – Bild(er) klicken zum Vergrößern

The Operator – Tokuya Yamazaki

Tokuya Yamazaki, the tea garden’s ooperator, came to natural cultivation via detour through his own painful experience… As the son of a local tea farmer family, the rules of conventional tea cultivation were practically laid in his cradle. Accordingly, he also followed this pattern when taking over the management of part of his parents’ tea gardens. That is, everything that his tea bushes needed, he added to the soil in the form of fertilizer. And used appropriate means to get rid of the natural insect predators of the tea plants. When he finally contracted a chronic illness that recurred in a regular yearly cycle, the cause initially remained a mystery to the doctors involved. Only the exchange with other tea farmers who complained about similar symptoms finally brought the realization that these must have come from the use of commercially available pesticides in the tea garden.

In the years that followed, Tokuya switched all of the family’s tea gardens to natural cultivation. As a result, he not only recovered from his ailment, but also discovered other benefits of his new cultivation principle. For example, the tea from his tea garden soon began to develop the individuality inherent to the soil and climate (terroir). And it was precisely this individuality that would soon help his tea garden to achieve an outstaning reputation. Also, his tea began to score much better than average prices on the market .

Most organic tea producers do so because they want to produce something that is healthier and more environment-friendly. While these aspects are indeed important, the producer of this kabusecha mainly focuses on growing the bushes naturally in a stress-free way. At this, Tokuya’s resulting motto is “Let tea be tea – let people be people”.

Tokuya Yamazaki

Tokuya Yamazaki

The Cultivar – Goko

The Goko tea cultivar is a product of the Kyoto Tea Research Center. Its original development is based on a native Uji variety registered in 1953. The cultivar, quite often the basis of award-winning Gyokuro teas, produces a dull green, rather smooth and wrinkle-free leaf. Its branches tend to grow evenly in all directions. At this, the yield is similar to that of the Yabukita tea plant. However, the Goko cultivar sprouts a few days later than the latter.

The Preparation

Tokuya’s “Natural Cycle” Kabusecha unfolds its characteristic flavor profile best at an initial infusion temperature of 70°C. The recommended dosage is about 2-3g of tea leaves per 100ml of as-soft-as-possible water. The first of up to 4 tasty infusions might steep for up to 2 minutes. For a second infusion then, it is advisable to shorten the steeping time to 1/2-1 minute. After this, a third infusion can then steep for 1-2 minutes again. Also, a fourth infusion with open steeping time is usually still worth it. In order to enjoy all the good ingredients of the green tea leaf, gradually increase the infusion temperature with successive infusions.

Tokuya Yamazaki's Natural-Grown Goko Kabusecha - naturally cultivated Japanese "half-shaded" green tea from Tokuya Yamasaki's "Natural Cycle" tea garden in Kamo, Kyoto; 10 days shading before spring picking

The following blog article provides an overview of the history and basic types of Japanese green tea:

For more Japanese Kabusecha green teas at Siam Tea Shop, follow the link below:

https://www.siam-teas.com/product-category/tea-from-japan/kabusecha-tea/

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Weight

25g, 50g, 100g

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